Use Equations to enhance your SOLIDWORKS Bill of Materials

Article by Chris Briand, CSWE updated April 25, 2016


Columns in your SOLIDWORKS Bill of Materials (BOM) can be used for more than reporting model values, quantity counts and custom properties. One of the options is to add a SOLIDWORKS BOM Equation column to calculate and show a result based upon custom properties or other columns in the BOM. This can come in handy when you are searching for a quick method to get a total value that takes into account the quantity of each of the components in an assembly.

How to add Equations to your BOM

Let’s take a look at how to go about creating an equation within the BOM.

  1. Create a new (blank) column in your BOM.
  2. Double-click on the column header to reveal the selection for the column properties.
  3. Choose “Equation” as the property type.
  4. Click on the Sigma Symbol to reveal the equation entry dialog.

BOM with Equation Column

  1. Enter the custom properties or column items to be used as values in the equations.
  2. Add operators, precision, or units as desired.
  3. Click “OK” checkmark to close the dialog
Entering Equations

Entering Equations

  1. The calculated value should now show up in the new column.
  2. The Sigma Symbol will be shown in the column header to confirm that the column is driven by an equation.
SOLIDWORKS BOM Equation results

Equation Entered

There are a vast number of combinations of operators, custom properties, & column values, that can be used to make your BOM far more useful and have it provide additional reporting. Don’t forget to save your changes as a BOM template for later use in other drawings or assemblies.

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Chris Briand, CSWE

Chris has been educating and supporting Engineers, Designers and IT Personnel within the 3D CAD industry since 2002, and was adopted into the fantastic team of applications experts here at Javelin Technologies in early 2006 and migrated along with his team members to the TriMech Solutions team in 2021.  Chris enjoys the continuous learning driven by the ingenuity and challenges Designers bring forward. Innovation using 3D Printing, 3D CAD and other technologies, combined with a diverse background as a technologist, allows Chris to find solutions that accelerate Designers, and take Design Teams to new heights. Chris is currently being held at an undisclosed location, near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.